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Nov 20, 2023

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What Would You Do Differently?


This week’s episode comes with a little trigger warning, talking about themes of death so if that’s sensitive for you right now then come back to this when you feel ready.


It can be hard to talk about, and sometimes feel a bit morbid, to think about our own or loved ones' mortality but I feel like this is an important conversation to have, and a perspective to potentially live by that can actually lead to some really positive changes.


And I know that’s what you want for yourself, because you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t.


As you’ll know by now I’m a big believer in sharing things that impact you and the way you think, in case it can have the same impact on someone else and might make a big difference to their day, week, month, life…you get the idea.


So let’s start with a little context for why I'm talking about this today. 


Full credit goes to a friend of mine who I caught up with this last week. Someone who played an unexpectedly big role in my own healing this summer for which I'm hugely grateful for. 


We were just catching up and talking about all the big things still going on in my personal life and big decisions I still have to make and he just said to me, ‘Can I give you some advice? Just be happy. Do what makes you happy. Tomorrow isn’t promised.’


Now, him saying tomorrow isn’t promised isn’t new, he already thinks that way. 


But it hit particularly hard because his best friend had recently been killed suddenly in a road accident. 


Sometimes things happen, to you or other people, that just put things into perspective. Context matters. 


He also said that he’s not even thinking about the future right now and just living in the moment and taking every day as it comes, which is an easy thing to talk about, a lot of people do. 


To the point the message gets lost I think. But again, I think it hits different within the context of the words and the situation they’re said in. 


If you really lived like that, knowing that you might not get tomorrow and to totally be in the moment, even if it was just for a day, what would you do differently?


How might you think differently?


What would you just drop because you realise it’s just not important. 


What would you let go?


What decisions would you make?


What would you make sure you did?


What would you want to experience?


Who would you reach out to?


What would you say?


How might you throw caution to the wind?


What would make you feel like you’re really living, not just existing?


Pay attention to your first answers to these questions, they’ll tell you a lot. Maybe pause, grab your journal and write them down.


How different might it feel to live by that?


Perspective really is a wonderful thing.  


The other side to this conversation I think was also important. 


How can you channel the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that come from something negative, into something positive? 


I’ve talked a huge amount about this before, the idea that some of the worst things that happen to you can lead to positive things if you allow them to.


It doesn’t take away the pain but it channels it into something good. Something that you can be proud of. 


I always find huge comfort in that way of thinking and I've not been proved wrong yet. Amazing things have always come out of my worst moments. Always. 


He then told me that he’s been looking after his friend’s son and he’s going to be running a marathon with him to raise money for him to get a bench installed for his Dad so he has somewhere to go and talk to him.


I thought this was such a beautiful example of that. 


So if you’re in the thick of it right now, like I know a lot of you are, 2023 has been an annus horribilis for so many people. If that’s you, or someone you love, what could you do that could channel that pain and energy into something positive? 


Again, it’s not ignoring the pain, it’s not putting on a brave face or wishing the pain wasn’t there. 


It’s alchemy. It’s turning something into something else. Taking lead and turning it to gold over time. 


Also, it’s worth saying, be open to where and who your healing and your lessons might come from. It might surprise you. 


The same friend also said to me pretty soon after we met that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. You can’t predict which one that will be and one is not better than the other.  


So, with all that said, what would you do differently if you knew today might be your last?


Stay open. Stay humble. Live more. Do what makes you happy. Focus on what really matters.